BEST STARTS FOR KIDS

6 Steps to Managing Behaviour Well

There's a long list of what not to do in parenting. But what actually works well is:

1. Having clear expectations

2. Routines help kids to know what's expected and support harmonious relationships

3. Spending positive time together so you have credit points to fall back on

4. Noticing the positive and expressing gratitude and appreciation

5. Using natural consequences as a teaching tool if children are flouting the rules

6. Being consistent

If in doubt... choose kindness

Regardless of how easy going your children are, at some point or another you're going to have to deal with behavioural issues. This may be anything from a two-year-old tantrum to the extreme of a seventeen-year-old's first criminal offence.

​​​It's likely you may have been told a lot about what not to do. Things like: yelling, smacking or bribing your kids.

But there are additional negative parenting strategies that are less obvious that can also be damaging to your child:

  • enabling bad behaviours,

  • being inconsistent,

  • not setting boundaries,

  • arguing with your children,

  • engaging in power plays,

  • criticizing them or negatively comparing them to others,

  • micromanaging them so they have no choice (hover parenting or being a take-charge manipulator,)

  • having unrealistic expectations (perfectionism,)

  • saying one thing and doing another (being a hypocrite,)

  • neglecting them,

  • bullying them,

  • threatening them with violence.

1. Have Clear Positive Boundaries of Behaviour and Model Respectful Behaviour Yourself.

 

  • Develop a clear dialogue about your expectations for behaviour (boundaries) emphasizing treating people, property and our earth with respect.

  • Ensure there's no pay off for bad behaviour.

  • If you can foresee a potential problem issue discuss it ahead of time. Then your child knows exactly what's expected of them, rather than deal with it after there's a problem, when emotions are high.

​​​​

2. Implement Routines and Organization that Helps Support Harmonious Relationships.

 

  • Children love routines. It helps them to feel safe.

  • Have organization in place to provide healthy meals, ideally three times a day.

  • Encourage your child to have just one major interest outside school, put the organization in place for them to attend it regularly. This allows for free family time to build relationships

  • Put a morning routine in place so young children can predict what's expected. This supports them being cooperative & to start each day off well.

  • Explain you may not be able to give your children everything they want, or let them do everything they want to do, but you'll do everything you can to be the best parent you can be for them. And be the best parent you can be.

  • Deal with problem behaviours when you're calm.

  • Give your child the benefit of the doubt where possible.

  • Postpone making a decision if you're angry. Similarly if you're feeling cross, or frustrated, disciplining your child may be more appropriate when you've calmed down.

​​​​

4. Notice the Positive Wherever Possible and Express Gratitude

 

  • Watch for your children being good and comment on the specific things they're doing right.

 

  • Explain the difference between rights and privileges so your young child learns to appreciate how many, many privileges they have in their life.

  • Sometimes give your child an unexpected privilege (something they'll really appreciate) and link it to gratitude for what they've done.

  • Model gratitude in your every day life.

  • Give your child a positive script to live up to, even if they occasionally blow it.

  • Be fair. Forgive. Your child is going to make mistakes. Be gracious rather than right.

6. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency.

  • Provide consistency, especially between both parents. But also including defactos, grandparents, parents-in-law and extended family.

  • Consistency with rules and expectations, ensuring you expect similar behaviour with all your children.

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3. Spend Positive Time Together

 

  • Develop daily routines where your child knows they're going to get positive time with you.

  • Find an activity you can share together that you both enjoy. And be fully present.

  • Plan for fun family days, outings, weekends away or holidays together so that everyone has positive experiences together as a family.

  • Stop what you're doing and really listen to your child when they talk to you, whenever possible.

  • Turning off your phone shows your child they're more important than something on Facebook.

5. Let Your Child Experience the Natural Consequences of  What They've Done if they're:

  • Not valuing things:

  • Lying: Give your child the benefit of the doubt where possible, but not when you know they're lying.

  • Deliberately Rule Breaking: If your child is flouting the rules and being disrespectful they may need to be made more aware of their rights and privileges.

​Remember by law you have to maintain your teenagers rights, but privileges are a bonus.

Sensible Parenting

  • Consider before you make a decision

  • Say 'yes' to all you feel comfortable saying yes to.

  • Distract if you need to.

  • But once you say 'No,' it's no. Regardless of how much your child complains. Because if you've considered your decision, and you change it because they're being difficult about it, they learn whinging, yelling, having tantrums works.

For learning practical tips to overcome tantrums go to:

For more Best Parenting Advice to help with positive behaviour development, check the links below:

The True Value of Routines
Routines help with afternoon engagements
Blog: Raising Teenagers to Succeed
Blog: Scared of Your Teenager?
Show More
Boundaries Help Raise Good Kids
Setting Boundaries
Sleep Routines
How to Get your child to sleep.
Why Be Consistent?
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
Why Spend Postive Time Together?
A father playing chess with his son can help create a positive relationship
Choosing Gratitude Not Entitlement
A girl kissing her father
Why Natural Consequences?
The Value of Natural Consequences
Show More

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Best parenting takes time. The best parenting advice ever is simple: Do your best, don't give up and love your children, no matter what.

by Multi-Award Winning Educator. Early Learning Expert. Author. Illustrator.

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